CHICAGO MESOTHELIOMA LAWYER
Chicago Mesothelioma Lawyer
You’ve probably heard the commercials and advertisements for mesothelioma in the past. In fact, you’re probably thinking about their tone and pronunciation right now. However, you probably never expected that you’d have to learn what it is, let alone be affected by it. Mesothelioma is actually a deadly problem that many people and families have suffered from. In fact, over 45,000 people lost their lives to mesothelioma between 1999 and 2015 according to CDC data. The issue was so rampant that there are a number of mesothelioma trust funds to give compensation to victims of asbestos-related diseases.
Although the CDC has taken steps to decrease asbestos exposure for the general population, it’s still a risk, especially for people who work in blue collar jobs. For this reason, you need a Chicago mesothelioma lawyer. At Curcio Law Offices, we handle all types of personal injury cases, from motor vehicle accidents to wrongful death cases. If you or a loved one suffered illness or death due to asbestos exposure and mesothelioma, you may be entitled to significant compensation. We are one of the top mesothelioma law firms in Chicago with a long track record of success. Check out our results, and then give us a call at 312-321-1111 to schedule a free consultation with our team of experienced mesothelioma lawyers.
What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a form of aggressive and deadly cancer which affects the tissue covering most of the internal organs. This tissue is called the mesothelium, hence where the name for the cancer comes from.
Some treatments exist for this deadly disease, but for many, a cure is not possible. Physicians divide the disease into types based on the affected part of the mesothelium. In most cases, mesothelioma affects the tissue surrounding the lungs, or the pleura. This type is pleural mesothelioma. Rarer instances of mesothelioma affect the mesothelium in the abdomen, or the peritoneum. This type is peritoneal mesothelioma. Other types of mesothelioma develop around the heart, or sometimes the testicles.
Mesothelioma is caused primarily by asbestos exposure. Everyone is exposed to tiny bits of asbestos throughout their life (through soil, water, and air), which generally isn’t harmful. However, the people who have the highest risk of asbestos exposure are those who work in blue collar jobs, such as:
- Asbestos mining and milling
- Manufacturing of asbestos products
- Demolition workers
- Drywall removers
- Asbestos removal workers
- Automobile mechanics
- Some types of military members
- Those who participated in rescue, recovery, and cleanup operations on 9/11/2001 (the North Tower specifically was built with materials containing asbestos)
Families of these workers may also be exposed to asbestos, because asbestos can cling to hair, skin, clothes, shoes, etc. This second-hand exposure may seem insignificant, but if the workers come home contaminated with asbestos for years on end, there is a significant risk of asbestos-related disease.
How Much Exposure to Asbestos Causes Mesothelioma?
Asbestos is the leading cause of mesothelioma. In fact, all types of asbestos have the potential to cause mesothelioma. At least 80% of all mesothelioma victims had exposure to asbestos in the past according to Asbestos.com. When these victims inhale the deadly substance, the fibers of it cause irreversible inflammation in certain parts of the body.
As previously stated, almost everyone is exposed to small amounts of asbestos in the air, water, and soil. This type of exposure is generally not enough to cause asbestos lung cancer. The average mesothelioma patient has endured years of exposure either through a blue collar job or through their loved one’s blue collar job.
Asbestos disease victims generally don’t start showing symptoms for 10 to 40 years after initial exposure. The most common symptoms of pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma are listed below.
- Chest pain
- Painful coughing
- Shortness of breath
- Strange lumps of tissue under the skin of the chest
- Unusual or unexplained weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Unusual or unexplained weight loss
Unfortunately, rarer forms of mesothelioma do not necessarily have symptoms associated with them. In fact, many symptoms that doctors see in mesothelioma patients with rarer forms of the disease are not specific to it. The symptoms occur in many patients with many different conditions or diseases.
The rarer forms of mesothelioma include pericardial (affecting the tissue surrounding the heart) and tunica vaginalis (surrounding the testicles). Pericardial symptoms include chest pain and difficulty breathing. Tunica vaginalis symptoms include swelling of or unusual masses on the testicles.
Anytime you experience signs or symptoms that something is wrong, see your doctor. It is not necessary that you wait for more prominent symptoms or to try self diagnosis prior to a doctor’s visit. Any of the above symptoms are cause for concern, and should be addressed by a medical professional as quickly as possible. This is not only the best course of action for your health, but it also strengthens your mesothelioma case. The more information you gather about your symptoms and disease progression, the more your Chicago mesothelioma lawyer at our law firm has to work with.
How is Mesothelioma Diagnosed?
Many victims visit a healthcare provider because of the symptoms they’re having, only to find out that they have mesothelioma.
In most cases, the patients have no reason to suspect that their symptoms are coming from the rare form of cancer. In order to determine whether someone has mesothelioma, doctors usually perform multiple tests.
Below, we outline the different ways in which physicians test for and diagnose mesothelioma:
- As with most doctor visits, they begin by asking questions about your medical history and potential risk factors in your life. Notably, they ask about asbestos exposure.
- Then, they usually examine you for other health problems related to certain areas of the body. This usually helps to diagnose specific forms of mesothelioma.
- At this point, if your history and physical examination point toward mesothelioma, your doctor will likely order more tests.
- Imaging tests using x-rays, radioactive particles, sound waves, or magnetic fields are used to make up pictures of the internal structures of your body. This helps to view suspicious areas, determine if the cancer has spread, find out if treatment options are working, and to look for signs of the cancer returning.
- Chest x-ray
- CT (computed tomography) scan
- PET (positron emission tomography) scan
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan
- Those with mesothelioma often show certain levels of substances in the blood that differ from those without mesothelioma. Therefore, doctors often order blood tests.
- Doctors also order fluid and tissue sample tests, as well as tests of pulmonary function. The more information a doctor has about you, the more accurate and likely their cancer diagnosis is.
Types of Mesothelioma Claims
In general, there are three types of mesothelioma claims that asbestos victims can pursue. These types are personal injury, wrongful death, and trust fund claims. Specifically, those who received a mesothelioma diagnosis can file either personal injury or trust fund claims. However, family members who lost a loved one to mesothelioma can file wrongful death claims. Financial compensation from mesothelioma lawsuits never replaces the life of a loved one, and it cannot get back the time and happiness someone loses to the disease. However, mesothelioma compensation can help victims and families to cover their extensive medical bills, funeral costs, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
Of the three types we listed, the two most common types are personal injury and wrongful death claims. Additionally, many people refer to these claims as “asbestos claims” due to its role in the development of mesothelioma. Experienced Chicago mesothelioma lawyers at our law firm are familiar with the manufacturers of asbestos, and aim to determine liability for your case. Below, our mesothelioma attorneys outline the basics of the three types of asbestos litigation.
Personal Injury Lawsuits for Mesothelioma Victims
- These are filed by the mesothelioma victim who has suffered major illness from asbestos exposure.
- Asbestos verdicts generally result in financial compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering.
- Sometimes, juries also award punitive damages. These serve to punish corporations for failing to protect their workers from asbestos exposure.
- Many, if not most, of these asbestos lawsuits settle out of court before they ever go to trial.
- The deadline to file a personal injury claim is 2 years after your mesothelioma diagnosis.
Can I Sue the Government if I Was Exposed to Asbestos in the Military?
A few different scenarios exist in which servicemembers may come into contact with asbestos. Those who served in Iraq, the Middle East, of Southeast Asia may have come into contact with asbestos as old buildings were damaged. Other members of the military, like workers in shipyards, construction areas, or vehicle repair may also have had contact with asbestos. Luckily, these individuals have the right to file for disability compensation or benefits for asbestos-related illnesses.
While you cannot actually sue the government, they will pay for your health care and compensation if you can prove and provide the following:
- Medical records proving the illness and/or disability.
- Service records listing your job.
- Doctor’s notes that link your exposure to asbestos during your service to your illness.
- You did not receive a dishonorable discharge from the military.
In order to determine whether or not you qualify for these benefits, visit the veterans asbestos exposure page from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.
Wrongful Death Claims
- Illinois law states that the personal representative (executor) of the deceased person’s estate can file a wrongful death claim. So if you are the executor of your loved one’s estate, and they did from mesothelioma, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf.
- Juries generally award compensation for medical bills, loss of financial support, funeral costs, and any other mesothelioma-related expenses that the family incurred.
- The Illinois statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits is 2 years after the death of a loved one.
Mesothelioma Trust Fund Claims
- Companies who recognize their own liability often set up asbestos trust funds. This helps them to avoid future liability in mesothelioma lawsuits.
- These trust funds still provide compensation for victims of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma. Your Chicago asbestos lawyer will determine whether or not the company responsible for your disease has a trust fund that you may claim compensation from.
- The best way to ensure that you meet the filing deadlines and requirements for a trust fund claim is to hire Chicago’s best mesothelioma lawyers at Curcio Law Offices. We will help you determine your eligibility, ensure that you file on time with the appropriate paperwork, and walk you through the whole legal process.
Mesothelioma Trust Funds
Mesothelioma trust funds are an important part of asbestos litigation. When asbestos manufacturers file for bankruptcy, they set aside funds to provide future compensations for victims of asbestos-related diseases. These trust funds accomplish a few different things, such as:
- Compensating future claims
- Allowing victims to file claims with the trust fund rather than suing the company
- Providing aid for those with all types of diseases related to asbestos exposure
If you’d like to find out whether you qualify for an asbestos trust fund claim, contact Chicago’s best mesothelioma law firm today.
How Do You Find an Experienced Mesothelioma Lawyer?
The best way to find an experienced mesothelioma attorney is to begin your search with broad categories. Depending on your specific situation, you may search for a personal injury, wrongful death, product liability, or an asbestos trust fund claims attorney.
Then, you want to determine whether or not they handle mesothelioma and asbestos cases.
Fortunately, Chicago’s top mesothelioma lawyers at Curcio Law Offices fights on behalf of victims of asbestos exposure, as well as their families. An experienced asbestos lawyer at our top law firm will help put you in the best position for a favorable outcome.
How an Experienced Chicago Mesothelioma Lawyer Can Help Your Case
Chicago asbestos attorneys can assist you with your case by:
- Listening to your story and helping you determine whether you have grounds to file a mesothelioma lawsuit.
- Investigating your situation and proving how negligence led to your case of mesothelioma.
- Calculating how much financial compensation you deserve based on the damages you have suffered.
- Fighting for your legal rights.
- Walking you through the entire legal process.
- Ensuring that you and your family receive mesothelioma compensation and justice.
What Happens After a Deposition on a Mesothelioma Case?
After the personal injury lawsuit deposition, you will move onto the discovery phase. This involves research, interrogations, and the gathering of information from both sides. Generally, your lawyer handles this phase by gathering evidence for your claim and responding to interrogations or allegations from the defendants. Your Chicago asbestos lawyers will prepare you ahead of time for all possible questions.
Unfortunately, it often takes a while to reach a settlement for these cases. Settlement amounts also vary on a case by case basis. Some asbestos cases take several months, while others take longer than a year. Keep an open line of communication with your Chicago asbestos attorney to have guidance on your case’s progress.